As we reflect on the whole witness of the inerrant and infallible Scriptures, regarding the Person of Jesus, we can see many elements and various passages that assert, affirm and prove His divinity. For example, there are the Messianic prophesies, such as, Ps.2:7,12, which speaks of Him as God's Son. Ps.110:1 declares Him as lord, while Ps.45:6 and Isa.9:6 speak of Him as God. Then there are the didactic passages, for instance, Jhn.1:1,14 speak of Jesus the Christ being the Word and the Word also being divine (God), then becoming flesh [human]. Phil. 2:5-11 speaks of Him being the "form of God" and Heb. 1;2-3; Col. 1:15 declare that "He is the radiance of the glory of God, the exact representation of His being and the image of the invisible God," while Heb. 1:8 boldly states that He is God, and 1 Tim. 3:16 asserts that this God "appeared in a body." We also have the narrative materials, such as, Mk. 2:27-28; Lk. 5:20; Jhn. 11:43-44, amongst many others, which testify that Jesus claimed divine prerogatives. These include, redefining the Sabbath, forgiving sin and raising the dead.! However, besides His own bodily resurrection, I genuinely believe that it is in the "I am" sayings of Jesus that we are presented with some of the clearest assertions, affirmations and proof of His divinity. For in them we have the very words of Jesus concerning His "true identity." Here we have the self-disclosure of the Incarnate God. It is with the assistance of the Apostle John, who recorded the very words of Jesus Christ as an eyewitness, along with other eminent theologians, that I seek to present this truth.
I begin by stating that the implicit intentions of the Apostle John, in writing his version of the Gospel of Jesus the Christ, are to be found in Chapter 20 verses 30-31. There, John clearly states, "Jesus did many more miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. So, we see that John's aim is two-fold. Firstly, it is revelatory, he seeks to reveal and demonstrate "that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God." Secondly, it is evangelistic, he wants people to know the true identity of Jesus, so "that you may have life in his name." Now, for the purpose of this essay, it is the initial aim of John that I want to highlight. As we have seen, John is seeking to prove that " Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world" (4:42). And in his attempt to do so he enlists the aid of many things. For example, the statements of witnesses, such as John the Baptist (1:29, 32-36), the Samaritan woman and villagers (4:39-42), Jesus (8:13-14), and God Himself (8:17; 12:28-30), accounts of the life, ministry and works of Jesus, including His many discourses and His eventual death and resurrection. He also introduced, or recorded, various miracles (signs) performed by Jesus, which are also recorded in the Synoptic Gospels. However, it is he alone, of all the Gospel writers, who that gives an account of the sermonic discourses of Jesus, which shed light on the meaning of the message behind the miracles that took place. Hence John's use of the Greek word `semeion` [sign], rather than simply `dunamis` [miracle]. Now, included in these sermonic statements are some of the "I am" sayings, for example, "I am the bread of life" (6:35) and "I am the resurrection and the life." The remainder of the sayings took place during his verbal interactions with the people (8:12), the Pharisees (10:7, 9, 11), and His disciples (14:6; 15:1).
Another thing which I seek to draw the readers attention to is the actual Greek words `ego eimi`, translated (I AM). Leon Morris correctly states, "Jesus uses an emphatic "I AM" to bring out important teaching about his person. In Greek, the personal subject of the verb is not normally expressed: the form of the verb makes clear what the...
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